The living classroom
Located in the heart of the Namibrand Nature Reserve, the Desert Academy offers young Namibians a great opportunity to start a meaningful career in hospitality and the culinary arts.
The Foundation started vocational training to address the lack of a skilled workforce in the hospitality sector. This provided previously unskilled Namibians with the opportunity to gain knowledge, skills, national certification and employment opportunities, thereby improving their livelihood.
The Foundation ensures that all trainees enrolled in its programs are ‘work-ready’ by the time they complete the program due to the strong focus on practical exposure in a real world working environment (the ‘living classroom’). This ‘hands on’ approach, and the guarantee of ongoing practical experience and exposure during entire training cycle is what sets our program apart from other training institutions.
Life in the 'Living Classroom' of the Desert Academy
The Wolwedans Desert Academy provides a unique lifestyle for trainees who are accepted into the program. The Living Classroom concept that guides the campuses way of teaching extends into campus life, offering the youngsters various opportunities to express themselves and stay active.
The Desert Academy forms a very safe and conducive environment for trainees who benefit from on-site shared accommodation, meals and transport to and from Wolwedans. This allows for trainees to remain focused and fully committed to their education during their period of training at the Desert Academy.
Trainees live at the Wolwedans Village with their classmates in spacious accommodation provided for them. They are encouraged to develop sustainable habits by recycling waste, conserving water, reducing food wastage and participating in village life.
The Wolwedans Village is equipped with a small gym for workouts and weight lifting and groups of avid hikers regularly take walks into the surrounding dunes and mountains, led by senior team members and guides. E-bikes are also available at our Village for those who want to explore the plains at the foot of the Losberg mountain or the Chateau Plains at the foot of the towering dune belt to the south of the Village. The Wolwedans Choir and drumming circle are also a wonderful way for trainees to be involved in group cultural activities.
Trainees receive regular life skills input from their facilitators and are prepared in all aspects of their social fitness for the working world that awaits them after graduation. in 2018, 5 trainees were selected to work as full time employees in the tourism operation that runs the camps and lodges managed by NamibRand Safaris.
Annually, trainees and Wolwedans team members are treated to the Wolwedans Winter Games. This is a very exciting time for them, as teams are created to participate in a soccer league, followed by various sporting events like volleyball, tug-of-war, bike racing, relay, sustainability quizzes and fun activities like board games and charades. The teams are encouraged to build mascots, create team flags and participate in quizzes to enhance their general knowledge.
Many of our trainees choose to join the Wolwedans Choir, the drumming circle or the Wolwedans Fitness program.